Wyoming: HIV Testing Plan Draws Mixed Reviews
September 25, 2006
CDC's announcement on Thursday recommending HIV testing of people ages 13-64 in routine clinical settings is getting a mixed reception in Wyoming, said Anna Lander, director of the AIDS Education and Training Center in Casper. Lander does not work directly with patient HIV testing but informs physicians, nurses and other health care professionals about HIV/AIDS.
"Some of them say it will remove some of the stigma of HIV here," said Lander, who works from the Community Health Center of Central Wyoming. "Others say we have a low incidence of it in the state and there is no reason for it."
Lander said one of residents' biggest misperceptions is that HIV/AIDS does not exist in Wyoming. Since the state began recording cases in 1984, 297 people have been diagnosed, according to a Wyoming Department of Health's (WDH) June 2006 report. Laramie County has the highest HIV incidence, followed by Natrona County.
"In many respects, we are very supportive" of the new CDC testing recommendations, said Rob Johnston, WDH HIV prevention coordinator. However, Johnston noted, "We are not seeing the resources to do this." In a recent conference call with CDC officials, he said, "one of the biggest questions was whether or not fiscal resources are going to be allocated."
Oral HIV testing using OraQuick costs $15-$30, excluding administrative costs, he said. Blood-based testing costs also vary.
The main concern is whether proper HIV screening can be performed in all medical settings, said Johnston. "People need to know there are limitations to the test," he said. "If I had unprotected sex or shot up the night before, HIV will not show up in the test the next day."
09.23.2006; Allison Rupp
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.